A pilot Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route will be deployed in the coming months as a forerunner to upgrading the nation's public transportation system.

The Ministry of Transport's Finance Department and the Hanoi Transport Company will rearrange routes to better cope with rising public transport demand in some areas and less demand in others.

The pilot route will run from Kim Ma to Yen Nghia bus station, through Giang Vo, Lang Ha, Le Van Luong, Lang Ha, Le Trong Tan and Ba La. The bus system is expected to be fully implemented in early 2015.

The 90-passenger busses will arrive every three to five minutes, and travel 22 kilometres per hour.

Passengers must buy electronic tickets at the bus stop before getting on board.

All rapid buses will be linked to their control centre through a GPS to make handling unexpected problems more efficient. The system will connect to traffic lights, as well, giving rapid busses first priority to cross intersections.

The World Bank funded the 49 million USD project, including infrastructure, bus stations and vehicles.

Hanoi earlier began a pilot project to introduce electronic smartcards in the city. The project consists of two phases funded by non-refundable aid from Japan International Cooperation Agency.-VNA